Fort Worth has been blessed with an exciting new restaurant specializing in vegan burgers: Called Zonk Burger, it just opened in a former doughnut shop at 2912 Race St., where it's serving a variety of vegan burgers, sandwiches, and fries.
Zonk is from Erin Hahn and Zachary Stacy, who started out with a food truck in 2019 before graduating to this permanent location in the River East neighborhood of Fort Worth. It's a vegan, counter-service restaurant, selling house-recipe burgers using high-quality ingredients.
Two big things set them apart: They make their own vegan burgers from scratch, and they have a variety of vegan burger options.
Hahn confesses that she kind of has a thing about veggie burgers.
"I started devising recipes when I first went veggie — it's a labor of love that I've been working on for a long time," she says. "As vegans, we're grateful for all of the new foods that have come out, but instead of using some of the highly-processed, patented meat alternatives created in Silicon Valley, we're using natural ingredients to develop burgers from beans, grains, fungi, vegetables and seasoning."
"Our mission is to serve best veggie burgers in town," she says. "We serve products that are surprisingly wholesome and we do everything in house."
There are different schools of veggie patties, including grain-based and bean-based, and Zonk offers one of each.
"Our Zonk Burger includes millet, garbanzo beans, and mushrooms," she says. "We also have a black bean burger that's a little more savory."
They also have a fried tofu sandwich, with the tofu breaded and fried and served on a bun; and fried tofu nuggets. There are two salads, a house and a Caesar; and fries that are hand-cut and double-fried, and can be ordered plain or "loaded" with caramelized onions, mushrooms, and special sauce.
"We've just tried to make it simple and keep to a menu of what we would want at a classic burger joint," she says.
It sounds like a fun place to work. When Hahn posted a help-wanted ad, it said, "The most important qualities are an interest in food and culinary trends—especially vegan ones— as well as a desire to serve high-quality food in an accessible environment. Must be willing to tolerate weirdo synth punk music."
The location is fun, too: The exterior is painted bright pink and it has a darling patio with pretty blue chairs and cheerful yellow-and-white striped umbrellas.
Hahn and Stacy met at the University of Texas at Austin and previously worked as antiquarian book sellers, but grew tired of sitting behind a desk. She also worked at Spiral Diner in 2017-2018 and became acquainted with the vegan market in Dallas-Fort Worth.
"Things have changed so much — nowadays it's so much easier to get people on board," she says.